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Thursday, Nov 07 2013 09:00 AM

Classic story, timeless music found in Nutcracker production

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Photo courtesy of Moscow Ballet

Moscow Ballet's company of 40 star-studded dancers performs Olympic-worthy leaps and lunges, astonishing lifts and magnificent partnering throughout the "Great Russian Nutcracker" from New York City to Los Angeles, and will be stopping in Bakersfield.

The Fox Theater, 2001 "H" St., Bakersfield, will host the troupe on Monday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m.

To the delight of audiences of all ages, the award-winning company, which includes many International Ballet Competition winners, bring humor, charm and finesse to Tchaikovsky's timeless score.

Written between 1891 and 1892, the Nutcracker Suit premiered a week before Christmas at the Imperial Marlinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia. The music and ballet did not traverse to the western countries until the 1930s and 1940s. Although the suite was an instant favorite, the ballet did not became a true hit until the 1950s when it was performed in New York City by the New York City Ballet.

The plot revolves around a German girl and her coming-of-age Christmas holiday. The girl's name varies depending upon the production company; she is known as Clara Stahlbaum, Marie, Maria or Masha.

The Moscow Ballet's presentation dramatizes the traditional story of Masha, meeting her "prince," and includes a tribute to world peace and harmony. The Stahlbaum family's lively Christmas includes magical toys made by beloved Uncle Drosselmeyer. Masha is enchanted with her strange Nutcracker Doll and enters a dream world with him.

The "Dove of Peace," created in homage to Stanislav Vlasov's original two-person bird which premiered in 1957 in New York City, escorts Masha and Nutcracker Prince to the "Land of Peace and Harmony," which is in contrast to the traditional "Land of Sweets."

Dancers from the world's ethnic heritages, including Hispanic, African, Slavic-Russian, Asian and European, entertain the young couple and bestow symbolic gifts in the form of playful, 10-foot tall silk puppets.

This year's production will be the company's 21st in North America and includes 200 new and hand-embellished costumes designed by Shakespearean expert Arthur Oliver and created in St. Petersburg's best theatrical costume shop.

For tickets, visit the Fox Theater Box Office, 2001 "H" St., Bakersfield, call Vallitix at 661-322-5200 or purchase online at FoxTheaterOnline.com. Prices range from $33 to $73.50 per ticket. On the Cover

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